The Silver Line

"Every cloud has a silver lining."
An age old adage whose banality borders on being almost nauseating - at least in most cases.
In ours, however, it was true ... more than true, as a matter of fact. In the dark cloud that hung over four years of our lives, the time that we spent memorising various strange symbols for the exams whose answer sheets we would fill out by vomiting all that we had forced into our brains. This, however, was an advantage, there was never a subject which built upon the concepts we had learned earlier - a topic once vomited, stayed that way.
Still here? Excellent! Now that I've made you run to the bathroom with my rather graphic description of what engineering is all about, let me tell you about one of the things that made it all bearable - "The Silverline."
No, the quoted phrase above is not a pun on the adage, it is in fact the name of the bakery that all of us used to frequent. By us, one would think I mean most of the students of said college, I, however, lived in a world of limited space and restrained by finite faculties, noticed the presence of only certain people, namely member of 'The Herd'.
A discussion inspired by this post of Furibundo's led Sketcher, Rize, Furibundo and yours truly to the conclusion that leaky memories like mine are no place to store all the events that have taken place through the time that we spent in college. As a result of said conclusion, I was nominated (for no fault of mine) to inflict upon you my perception of the times we spent at our favourite hang out. Hopefully, this will be a series, starting with Furibundo and going on with the others (maybe I can tag someone else with it [[[muhahhaha]]]]).
Silver line as a bakery was at best mediocre, but we never went there for the food. There were similar such bakeries scattered all over the country side (when we were inmates there, it really was country side, things seem to have changed a lot since then) near college, but for some inane reason we chose this one upon which to perch.
Witness to endless hours of discussions on topics ranging from why we had become friends, our individual pasts to technical details of how the gentleman behind the counter preparing our juice had managed to make even a simple order of a dozen lime juices seem like a task fit for Hercules himself, the place lacked the charm that one has come to expect from the shiny city that Bangalore represents to those who haven't been here and yet, there we were, day after day, hour upon hour, sitting in the bright sun or taking shelter from the pouring rain, enjoying the water on our face in the light drizzle or huddling up in our jackets to beat the bitter cold.
Puffs, cold and hard, buns with a filling of potato, that just refused to be chewed upon, formed the cuisine of said watering hole. We devoured it all with a fervour unmatched by any we know of.
The mango juice deserves special mention - this seasonal concoction that the rather inexperienced culinary expert behind the counter decided to prepare was possibly a masterpiece the likes of which are unparalleled in the bakery/juice industry thus far. A very thick mixture of mango pulp(?) and milk that tasted positively heavenly. I'm fairly certain the only thing better would be ambrosia and am sure that Pixie will vouch for that.
I'm sure we cheated the proprietor of the place out of a fortune over the years, we invariably forgot what all of us had ordered (the drawbacks of going in a large group) and of course, he couldn't keep track of it. I'm also certain there are a number of times that we forgot to pay and just walked out as well. :-)
It formed a place of shelter in more ways than just the physical.
How many classes have we missed and spent them sitting on the rickety yellow chairs strewn haphazardly around the place?
How many subjects have we forgotten sitting under the yellow and red striped awnings after completing the tests for them?
How many confessions have we made to a friendly ear sitting on the brick red steps?
How many times have we worried for our friends (and our bikes) who have gone riding for the first time, standing there on the broken grey concrete?
How many tests have we prepared for walking around in the muck surrounding the place?
The answer to all of these questions - we don't really care, be they three or three million, each hour .. each second was an experience to which we were all privy, an experience which while teaching us nothing of importance forms our solace ... our Silver Line.

7 comments:

El Furibundo said...

Aaahh.. Silverline. They always had a mickey mouse shaped cake the very look of which used to turn my insides around.
But you gotta hand it to them.. I've had the BEST mango milkshakes at The Silverline.

John said...

Nostalgic!! :'(
Care free! hassle free! lime juice and cream bun! life was just tooo much of fun.
I miss those days! loads.
Well i will for sure write about park 99.

Rize said...

gone are the days!!...those days after each exam we come and sit at our beloved silver line, wondering, How could it go wrong again?!?! :D..
and the days of bugging ppl(esp zon :) ) with the question paper in hand...
silver line, eden huts and the Lake was part of our daily life..
and ya the bike drags...i dint have a bike then :(.....
and also the 'do the Dew'... :)

'Smee! said...

Du, you've even graduated out of your college linguistic style :|
I for one never managed to gulp down a whole glass of juice or one of their puffs. Dear Furibundo always helped me out :">
not to forget the yummy pudding we got at silverline. we could barely afford it those days!

Kai Wren said...

Kurkure, one by two at Rs.10/- a pop

Anish said...

seems like it hasnt been long since you left college.. well no matter how gloomy the cloud .. there is always "SilverLine" ..
How did you come across my blog?
:)

Subbu said...

Du.. amazing post..
I really cannot forget the Mango Shakes... it all seems like yesterday... Keep it going 'herd'..